Thank you to Steve Barr for this update of the Leggat-Barr family’s steps to “recycle” their 1840s North Yarmouth farmhouse and make it more modern and fuel-efficient:
We heat primarily with wood, about 4 cords a year (we LOVE the wood bank groupies!) Our super-efficient wood stove, Hearthstone “Equinox,” can burn a 26-inch log for 10-12 hours. We installed an outdoor air intake, a 4” pipe that brings outside air in for combustion, a system that improves the flow of heat and helps warm the house.
Foam sprayed along our sills has added a geothermal heat source that captures cellar heat generated from the earth, about 53°, and directs it back to our house. A fan vents air outside, controlling moisture and inadvertent radon, and circulating the air.
We upgraded to solar hot water. Apricus evacuated tubes provide 6 months of free hot water to our 150-gallon tank and supplement it in colder, darker months.
The solar photovoltaics on our garage roof generate all our household electricity and power my first new car, a Chevy Volt. For the equivalent of $1.50 of electricity, the Volt will drive around 34 miles. After a $12,000 initial cost, we should see payback in 8 years, when the car will essentially run on free electricity. CMP allows us to store electric credits over the calendar year, so we will salt away excess power during sunnier months, and draw back on this in the late fall/winter.